Arsenal travel to White Hart Lane on Saturday to reignite one of the most anticipated derbies in English football. Spurs come into the match on the back of an inspiring run of form, but it is at White Hart Lane where Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be looking to improve having already lost 4 of their 12 home games so far this season.
A win for either side would propel them to the fourth spot above Southampton temporarily and a loss could severely dent their Champions League ambitions. Arsene Wenger will be boosted with the return to form of star man Mesut Özil but Alexis Sanchez remains in the sidelines.
Let’s take a look at the Arsenal lineup for this Saturday’s clash.
Goalkeeper – David Ospina
Although Wenger has confirmed that the Polish stopper as his No. 1, Szczesny is likely to start from the bench giving way to David Ospina. The Colombian has been impressive after replacing the Pole and has kept four consecutive clean sheets in his last four outings.
Defence – Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal.
The defence has a familiar look about with Mathieu Debuchy out with a long term injury, Wenger has opted to use young Spaniard Hector Bellerin at right back, while Nacho Monreal has been given the nod ahead of Keiran Gibbs. Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker should start at the heart of the Arsenal backline.
Midfield – Ramsey, Coquelin, Walcott, Cazorla, Özil.
Santi Cazorla has been in fine form in recent weeks since his man of the match performance at the Etihad Stadium and with Mesut Özil back to form in the 5-0 hammering of Aston Villa, Arsene Wenger must be very confident of his strike force delivering in the derby. Theo Walcott’s pace down the right can cause all sorts of problems and Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin should sit just in front of the back four. Aaron Ramsey’s involvement could well decide the fate of the game.
Latest reports suggest that, injured Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez is desperate to play against Tottenham in the north London derby and is willing to defy medical advice, confirms Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
‘He [Sanchez] wants to play, of course, he’s very keen, he feels he can defy the medical people because he is so keen to play that he thinks he can get over strains.
‘I don’t know yet, I need medical advice on that, and I need as well to see what he can do in training.’
Despite Sanchez’s claims, Wenger knows he has enough options to replace him.
‘We have enough offensive options, we are not short,’ he added. ‘I think we have enough offensive power, if all of us perform individually and collectively, we can get above that.’
Striker – Olivier Giroud
Danny Welbeck should be fit enough to make the bench, but Frenchman Olivier Giroud should get the nod for this one. Giroud provides an option in the box for the likes of Cazorla and Özil to pick out and should complement Theo Walcott’s directness and crossing ability.